Total Pageviews

Friday, September 2, 2011

Victoria needs a clean break from libertarianism


Victoria needs a clean break from the libertarian Ron Paulite mindset, so we can get something done in our city. I don't know anything about our city officials, but I certainly don't want a fiscal conservative when the economy is fragile. Fiscal conservatives are needed when the economy is stable or booming, to remind us that we need to keep our fiscal house in order. Right now our officials are running scared of spending an extra nickel, even if it means savings in the future. I'm not asking for our city officials to empty the bank accounts. I just want them to be prudent and account for the expenditures. They have made some serious mistakes in the past, and they need to be held accountable but they still have run the city/ county and not listen to the people that are trying to save $1.25 of property tax.

I got a taste of that when the city decided to spend $6,000 for iPads. One poster said, we could've got cheaper alternative tablets not knowing that Apple makes a sturdy product, and you get what you pay for. Another poster told a story of practically duct taping his old desktop to save money. There's fiscal conservatism and then there's cheap to a fault.

We have to have some of the most close- minded posters I've ever seen. Our police officers want to form a collective-bargaining union and without hearing the proposal; our close-minded citizens say, "no way Jose." If there's a proposal for a pay increase for county or city employees it's the same answer. I know no one cares if we keep competent people at the county, because it's all about keeping property taxes low. These people are moving and taking their money with them. I understand that they have not had a raise in four years, and most of their benefits have been cut back. You hear stories like the taxpayers are struggling not realizing public employees are taxpayers. I wish the city and county would privatize everything, because that's the only way that it will get through their thick skull..Wait, I take that back, it’s an impossible task because they will make up some sort of excuse. Private companies will not repair their equipment or meet all the demands because it would take away from their profits. As long as we have public employees, conservative/libertarian Republicans will shun them because it's the nature of their ideology of individualism and an unfettered free market.

I knew people would try to nationalize the collective-bargaining proposal, and done from a right-wing perspective. Collective bargaining it just an agreement between the city and its employees on how to handle wages, complaints, work standards, and policies. It also gives the employees some say. I've never been in a union, but as a taxpayer; I'm not going to demonize an agreement between management and employees.

As long as we have Ron Paulites controlling the agenda, we can forget about growth because tax abatement, joint ventures, investments, and collective bargaining are all tools of the devil, in their Ayn Rand world of the unfettered free markets and individualism. We can start by electing a democrat to replace Congressman Blake Farenthold, and if you must elect republicans, elect compromising RHINOs.

I'm glad there are a couple of competent  posters giving the" just say no" crowd a run for their money at the VA forum but unfortunately they are wasting their time until we get rid of the libertarian/conservative mindset.


Mike said...

I'm watching Bloomington

Legion said...

"Texas, particularly the Gulf Coast, is doing well compared to other parts of the world, said Jesse Thompson, business economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Houston branch.

Texas employment is expected to see a 3 percent growth in 2011.

In the Victoria region, public administration is the sector that has seen the greatest percent change in employment in recent years."

True it doesn't say whether public administration is up or down but considering the article is about a upswing in the local economy don't you think that is the case?

"Also, the dais would have needed to be retrofitted to make room for the new monitors.----

The other nine non-3G I-Pads, which cost $399 each, were bought for the municipal court, parks and recreation commission and planning commission, and any other commission that will use the council chamber for a meeting, Gazra said. These iPads will remain in the council chamber."

So the city council persons I-pads can leave the council chamber, but no one else s can? You know the municipal court, Parks and Rec. and planning commission. In other words nine of the I-pads have no use unless they are meeting in council chambers.
About the monitors, they already have flat screen monitors on the dais, what are going to do replace them with older ones?
One commenter mentioned "Have you tried to look at a 10 year old monitor lately?" Yes I do every single day, in fact it is 11 years old,works great and has outlasted two computers.
If you ask me the people that really can benefit by using a I-pad, Parks and Rec., (shouldn't the street and water dept. have them too?), can't use theirs unless their in the council chamber. Ridiculous.

Oh and it was $9,000 for the I-pads not $6,000 and two years since a employee raise not four.

Mike said...


I'm not sure why you supplied me with the Texas growth data but if it is to support the "Texas Miracle" I have information to refute that.

I completely agree, the monitor justification was lame,a monochrome does just as well  to view data but I think I would have said " We are letting another department have the old computers or we are donating them to some schools."    I rarely use my 3G because the WI-FI signal is a much stronger signal,so I don't see a problem on how they will be utilized but like any organization I'm sure they will adjust to get maximum benefit. We all do. ..I can see iPads in the city's future for many many uses but the paper savings should be the selling point but you can't achieve that unless habits are changed.

Yes,I made a mistake on my numbers but I hope my point was made. How many more years of  layoffs or cut in benefits will the county employees have to endure before we give them something?   If I were a county official I would have never brought up the $1000 ($800 after taxes) because it's not that much for the complaints it will generate.Optics!

Anyway while people are arguing about $9,000 we find out that next year the city plans to annex 170 acres for $3.9 million.  

Thanks for commenting and setting me straight.

Edith Ann said...

Oh, Mike! Now you are like EA--combine 17 different things into one blog! Where to start? Okay--in no particular order (and probably not well thought out)...

Since being a Victoria city councilperson is not a full time job for any of them, I cannot see why they need iPads. Really. Department heads, CM, yes, CC, no.

The police deal--I'm doing some research on that. I asked an officer's wife why the VPOA thought this was the path to take, and she said she didn't really know. But she did tell me that there are huge disparities between pay levels, and that it has been an issue for a while. Many of the officers are members of the Texas Municipal Police Association, and they provide, already, a lot of what this new deal will net the VPD.

I know for a fact there is much more information to be had, and right now my question is--In a city this size, in this century, why has this disparity been allowed to continue? Personally, I think it is a reflection of what we are seeing in the city governemt. The "Oh, SHIT! It's 2011 and we are a couple of decades behind the rest of the world!!!"

Libertarians--I know we have a bunch roaming around Victoria. You know I hang with a couple or so, but there are not any on the city council or county commisioners court that I know of.

If you are referencing Paul Polasek, his voting record speaks for itself. Despite what his mouth is saying, his habits are very different. And after slashing jobs just a year ago, do you really accept that Victoria County has rebounded enough that not only can we give 4% raises across the board, we can give our already highly paid politicians a $1000 bonus!

You say we need to have a break from the Ron Paul mindset so we can get something done. I am completely lost here! If there is a reason why nothing is getting done, it is, in my opinion, because we are spending money on the wrong thing! This city council does not have its priorities straight! Not at all! $100,000 to 'reeducate' the community on the UHV matter. Nearly $200,000 on parking in the park. They have a CIP that is constantly adjusted. I'm not saying it has to be carved in stone, but right now these guys could save a bundle if they would just keep the CIP on a whiteboard and use erasable markers!

You write "Right now our officials are running scared of spending an extra nickel, even if it means savings in the future." When? Where? I disagree! Show me proof! You said, "As long as we have Ron Paulites controlling the agenda..." Which libertarians are doing this?

For the record, I am in favor of the 65 cent tax rate. Really. We have so many things, as you point out, that need our attention and I want to see them done. It is going to take money.

As I have said before, I cannot get all hot and bothered over the paver sidewalks downtown--nice as they are-- when I cannot drive through the intersection of Maplewood and Sherwood at a speed greater than 10 mph without risking taking out the bottom of my car. And it's been that way for years.

I understand attracting tourism (and we know how well the city spent money on that), but I also understand that you must take care of those who choose to reside here. This is one of our biggest deficits.

Have you ever just driven around the town? I mean, drive through neighborhoods, off the main streets. Go south and check it out. Go north and see what's there. I have to say that many of those complaining have merit in their complaints.

Well, so sorry to have hijacked your blog. And why are you watching Bloomington?

Mike said...

The city council will meet next year the year after that and so forth,the iPad is the ideal tool for people that need information on hand (city council,lawyers,managers etc) and specific apps will make them more productive. Jim Wyatt once told me that they have to train on city issues. The iPad is light,portable, and will meet future needs but I have already written a blog at the VA,so I'm committed.

Was the union issue generated by the police officers and the city is just responding and inquiring? That's my understanding.

I answered the pay raises in my last post but I am not referencing any city or county official.

I described the Ron paul mindset in the blog and it had nothing to do with your readers because I have argued that mindset for many many years. There are several making comments at the VA smoothing a path for themselves to get elected...We don't need them.

The blog has one central theme... Fiscal conservatism is not God sent and not always an ideal philosophy especially when you have a austerity mindset. The Ron Paul mindset is fiscal conservatism on steroids.

I started the blog stating the city council needs to  atone for their previous mistakes but that wasn't the point I was trying to make.

Mike said...

One post or several posts is not hijacking in my book.

We are addressing two entirely different issues.You are about the day to day mistakes,individuals,expenditures and so forth.

I am not detailed.

I'm just addressing the recent purchase of the iPads,city/county raises for employees,an open mind in hearing the union request and not giving in to the austerity only crowd.
The complaints have been there forever and it's the nature of city government and the citizens. 

Edith Ann said...

One question before I respond.

Do you watch the City Council meetings? If you do, then I can cut to the chase on some stuff. If you don't, then I can respond differently.

I ask this in order to not rehash stuff you've already seen/heard somewhere else besides the VA reports.

Mike said...

That's easy..I don't nor will I ever watch City Council or County meetings.
My last blog at the the VA,I put in a disclaimer that I won't pretend to know how the City Council will utilize the iPads...I am merely giving an opinion as an owner of an iPad.

I have never talked about the city outside this blog. I don't even make a comment at the VA on city matters. 

I have heard complaints from city and county employees over their pay,benefits and poor insurance plan. I have always been interested in employment issues.

See where I'm going?

Mike said...

I'm sure you saw this link submitted by beep

Zero, here's the rating that you asked about.

It's pretty good information for future reference.

Edith Ann said...

I understand the convenience of the iPad, and I know how much you love yours. They may have been the best choice for the money for the City, but I will never believe that they fact they are portable resource is a necessary feature. The false message that these will somehow enhance the work the CC does is just bogus! They have cell phones that do everything the iPad does. It's not the iPad, per se, it's the associate spin that goes with it.

I know you typically stay away from city level stuff, so that is what made me so curious as to why you think the libertarians are somehow responsible setting the agenda and hindering action. I am missing this completely!

True, Paul Polasek, Denise Rangel and Tom Halepaska sit up at the front and tell us how fiscally responsible they are, but they could not get their hands up in the air fast enough to vote for the lobbyist, the Pumphouse parking lot, etc. This is not being responsible! Polasek can speak at all the tea party rallies he wants. He is not genuine.


Mike said...


N0,EA that is absolutely false, you can't really compare a small smart phone to the iPad ;for one, the screen is way too small for serious work...I have a smart phone and there are some that have as many apps as the iPad but SPECIFIC apps for city council use will be available if they aren't already.Like I stated in my VA blog if your mind is already made up,it's not worth my time to try and change anyone. The purchase was made,so let's make the best of it. I know if it enhanced the way I do things,it will do the same for any information based operation...We will just have to agree to disagree.

You keep missing my point...I don't CARE if someone is fiscally conservative in fact that is  a minus in some cases...I don't want someone BOUND by ideology,I want open minds......Polasek not being a genuine tea party is a plus in my book..Only 20% (and dropping nationally) care about the tea party and their beliefs. They thought we shouldn't pass the debt ceiling.

Play close attention,one last time..:-)....FORGET specific city/county officials that are serving today for now.......If the current officials have Tea Party/Libertarians/Ron Paulites running against them,I will vote for the incumbent....Lobbyist are sometimes necessary in dealing with state and federal government because they have the expertise to get legislation passed....The local libertarians are NOTthe  hindering agenda right now but they planting the seeds to supplant the RHINOs  but we don't need their 17th century ideology.

I know a lot of people that don't like the Tea Party/Libertarians/Ron Paulites types...It's been that way for over 30 years that I know of....Our congressman is a Libertarian,yesterday I mentioned we could start there.

BTW I bought the Cheney book over 532 pages of lies to read but I will blog the juicy parts..:-)

Edith Ann said...

I am really surprised we can't get closer to a mid point on this issue. But at the same time you don't follow the local stuff closely. You want open minded folks making the decisions, yet you will automatically take a hypoctite over a fresh look. The voting block of 4 that we have right now is far more dangerous to the growth and prosperity of Victoria than one libertarian could ever be.

I have no problem with lobbyist in general. I have a huge problem with the COV earmarking $100K to attempt to force an issue that does not fall under their realm of authority. Surely you see the difference between that and the typical lobbyist.

Since I do watch and/or attend CC meetings, I can say for the record that I have never heard any of the councilmen complain about not being able to serve their constituents due to the lack of an iPad. At the same time, I'll admiot I am not a technology person. I still don't have texting or internet on my old school phone although I do love my iPod Nano. But I have plenty of friends who feel like you do about all those things. Heck, my d-i-l works in sales for Apple!

Anyhoo--I'm done. I think this horse is dead.

Legion said...

I saw it Mike, the article focuses on the overpass bond in particular but also mentions the new sewer plant bond.

The article also provides a view of the COV s fiscal health. One thing it mentioned was a slight decrease in the Taxable Assessed Value, "In response to declining TAV, officials also very slightly increased the M&O tax rate,(maintenance and operations),in fiscal 2011 to maintain level property tax revenues." That being said, whose Taxable Assessed Value actually decreased last year? The CAD claims they increased. Other than that discrepancy the only negative the article points out is the pension fund, like ever other entity.

It was refreshing to learn that TXDOT will pay the city more than enough to cover the debt service on the overpass bond if all goes as planned. A good job of putting that package together.

Mike said...

Pensions that were funded by previous administration in yesteryear are always a problem.

You looked at the info closer than I did but tax assessed values are always a problem,as we found out in the housing crisis...I 've always been leary of a system that does not make actual evaluations without actual inspection...I remember when I was paying business property tax based on the report I submitted...As I said before; as an administrator for a couple of estates, I had to use a couple of appraisers..They both used the neighborhood method selling price of last home sold, to arrive at their method rather what was on CAD...Then I ended up selling lees than

Mike said...

Sorry,shold be actual evaluations.